Nicaragua: Cloud Forests, Reefs, & Turtles
Visit a sea turtle arribada beach, look for quetzals and green macaws, and view the volcanoes of Lake Nicaragua
Pricing From: $2,395 USD per person
Duration: 10 days
Operator: Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance
Join us for this active conservation adventure to Nicaragua. Visit the olive ridley sea turtle nesting beach at La Flor Wildlife Refuge in San Juan del Sur, hike the cloud forest, see how coffee is made, and explore the artist enclave at Solentanamie in Lake Nicaragua.
Day 1 - Transfer from Managua to Jinotega
We leave the heat of the central valley and climb into the pine-oak habitat of the central mountains. During coffee season the region is bustling with activity as local producers prepare their harvests for market. We will visit a coffee processing area just outside Matagalpa and then visit the highland resort of Selva Negra for lunch and a short hike. We arrive in the town of Jinotega mid-afternoon and will have a brief optional walking tour.
Day 2 - Datanli – El Diablo
We begin the day with a birding walk along the beautiful shore of Apenas Lake and then continue to La Bastilla, the center of coffee production of the area. We will see the entire production process, from picking ripe coffee beans to drying the final product. We will even roast some beans and try some of the highest quality coffee in Nicaragua. After lunch we will hike from La Bastilla to El Gobiado through beautiful cloud forest looking for Quetzals and Bell Birds, and a host of other high elevation specialists. Overnight: Hotel Café, Jinotega
Day 3 - Datanli – El Diablo
Today’s hike is from La Trampa through a scenic rural climb to the cloud forests. The route is famous for the variety of epiphytes and the many different species of orchids, over 150 species have been found in the reserve. From the cloud forest we slowly descend through pine-oak habitat and finally arrive at the community of La Esmeralda. This is a moderate/strenuous hiking day with lunch in the field. From La Esmeralda we return to Managua late afternoon. Overnight: Las Mercedes, Managua
Day 4 - Transfer to the Rio San Juan
We take the early flight to San Carlos and then visit the islands of Solentanamie. We will have some great birding and visit the local museum and artisan workshops. Solentanamie is famous as an artist enclave. We have lunch on the islands and then transfer to Sabalos Lodge, nestled along the Rio San Juan arriving at sunset.
Day 5 - Indio-Maiz Biosphere Reserve & El Castillo
We have a day exploring the Rio San Juan starting with the second largest protected area in the country Indio-Maiz. After a great hike where monkeys and poison-dart frongs are common, Great Green Macaws possible but not so easy, we head to colonial fort of El Castillo, overlooking the rapids of the Rio San Juan. We have a fantastic lunch and then visit the historic fort returning to Sabalos Lodge late afternoon. We will have a night walk option after dinner. Overnight: Sabalos Lodge
Day 6 - Rio San Juan
We have an open day to relax and have fun on the Rio San Juan. Optional activities include early birding walk, kayaking on the Rio Sabalos and tubing on the river. You can also visit the nearby community of Boca de Sabalos.
Day 7 - High Speed Boat to San Jorge, La Flor Wildlife Refuge
After a relaxing breakfast we get picked up by the high speed boat and depart for the port town of San Jorge, opposite the island of Ometepe. Spectacular views of the dual volcanoes of Ometepe. We then continue to the Pacific Coast and lunch at San Juan del Sur. This is a surfers hangout with a spectacular beach. We arrive at our cabanas on the beach late afternoon in time for a quick swim.
Day 8 - La Flor Wildlife Refuge
We are in some of the best dry forest habitat in the region which surrounds many small beaches which are critical for nesting Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Depending on the time of year, large numbers of sea turtles arrive in what is known as arribadas. A spectacle of nature! After the nesting period, we may see the hatchlings departing to the sea on their lifelong journey. While the sea turtles are seasonal, the excellent snorkeling, sea-kayaking, hiking & visiting archeology sties are year round. A fun combination of activities. Overnight: El Coco, Rivas
Day 9 - Return to Managua
We'll head back to Managua in time for your flight home.
Prices & Dates
Dates: Sep - Dec
Duration: 10 days
Pricing From: $2,395 USD per person
Included: Accommodations in hotels, lodges, or inns, all meals from dinner Day 1 to breakfast final day, airport transfers, sightseeing as noted in the itinerary, ground transportation, entrance fees, and domestic flights.
Excluded: International airfare; meals outside regular meal times; insurance - basic medical and evacuation insurance; optional tipping to leader; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax (currently $32); and items of a personal nature.
Paso Pacifico - Founded in 2005, Paso Pacífico's mission is to restore and conserve the natural ecosystems of Central America’s Pacific slope by collaborating with landowners, local communities and involved organizations to promote ecosystem conservation.
By booking this trip through SEEtheWILD, we will make a donation of $120 to Paso Pacifico for their turtle conservation efforts.
Featured Animals: Olive Ridley, Macaw, Primates
Call us at 800-854-4204
Mon - Fri
9am to 5pm
All of our trips & volunteer expeditions:
- Directly support wildlife conservation
- Educate travelers about wildlife
- Support local communities
- Reduce environmental impact